NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Every Breath You Take - Every Dollar You'll Make: The Long-Term Consequences of the Clean Air Act of 1970

Adam Isen, Maya Rossin-Slater, W. Reed Walker

NBER Working Paper No. 19858
Issued in January 2014
NBER Program(s):   CH   EEE   LS

This paper examines the long-term impacts of early childhood exposure to air pollution on adult outcomes using U.S. administrative data. We exploit changes in air pollution driven by the 1970 Clean Air Act to analyze the difference in outcomes between cohorts born in counties before and after large improvements in air pollution relative to those same cohorts born in counties that had no improvements. We find a significant relationship between pollution exposure in the year of birth and later life outcomes. A higher pollution level in the year of birth is associated with lower labor force participation and lower earnings at age 30.

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This paper was revised on September 18, 2015

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19858

Published: Adam Isen & Maya Rossin-Slater & W. Reed Walker, 2017. "Every Breath You Take—Every Dollar You’ll Make: The Long-Term Consequences of the Clean Air Act of 1970," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(3), pages 848-902. citation courtesy of

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